Day 166 Into The Solway Firth

Friday 18 September 2015 (Happy Birthday Mum)

Dalbeattie to Southerness 

7 miles

Parkdean Tourist Park

The couple parked near to me in their campervan (I was jealous) kindly offered me tea and toast this morning. I sat in their van chatting for a bit before I had to hurry to get the bus down the main road to Kippford. Bill and Ann have had a campervan for 20 years and travelled all over the UK. Such a lovely gesture to make me breakfast reminded me of Jackie and Dave from Essex.   

The pier at Kippford, looking up the River Urr
 Kippford seemed like a nice small town on the bank of the Rough Firth. From here I walked my second Jubilee Walk in as many days (there was also one in Dundrennan) that wound up through the woods and back down to Rockcliffe.  

A woodpecker on the Jubilee Walk
 I took a short diversion to climb the Mote of Mark, a small hill named after the King of Dumnonia (I have not made that up!),that seems to have been an important (and tiny) settlement. It was occupied in the 5th-6th Century, when it was part of the BritishKingdom of Rheged, and was destroyed, probably by the Northumbrian Angles, in the 7th Century. Amazingly, artefacts from France and Germany have been found here.  

Looking South to Castlehill Point from the top of Mote of Mark
  
Rough Island and Rough Firth from the Mote of Mark
  
Looking back up Rough Firth from Mote of Mark to the mountains beyond
 Rockcliffe had some large and good looking properties overlooking the estuary.  

the Rockcliffe shoreline
 The tide was out and there was a causeway to Rough Island across the mud flats that extend a long way out. A small all-terrain vehicle was towing a trailer across the flats to the Island- I’ve no idea what for.  

An ATV driving across the mud flats
 There is a wonderful coastal path all the way around the cliffs at Castlehill Point and along to Sandyhills Bay. This was my first proper coastal path, up and down the cliffs, since Fife. I was lucky to have a beautiful, sunny day to enjoy it.  

The mouth of the 3 joined Bays: Auchencairn, Orchardton and Rough Firth
 The views along the coastline were outstanding.  

A beautiful coastal walk
 With a low tide so much sand/mud is exposed in the Solway Firth that it looked like I could almost walk across it. I could also see the faint outline of the Lake District mountains the other side of the Solway Firth and the huge wind farm.  

The hazy view across the Solway Firth (windfarm in sight)
 I passed through Portling; another village with magnificent houses. Then it was around the headland and into Sandyhills Bay.  

Looking back to Barcloy Hill
 
Port o’ Warren and Mersehead Sands with the tide out
  The area by the Saltpan Rocks was littered with cockle shells and you must need some sort of licence to harvest them. 

Not me Guv’
  Sandyhills Bay itself was not particularly spectacular and the only place to get a cup of tea was at the caravan park’s shop. This place needs a cafe!  

Sandyhills Bay on the left and the coast to Southerness
 I was intending to walk the next 7 miles to Southerness but it was all on road and there was a bus due in 20 minutes. I had slipped over earlier in the day and my neck was a bit sore so I decided to call it quits and see if I could do some laundry and maybe watch England start their Rugby World Cup campaign.  

It’s a long way to the sea from the beach
  
An old RAF bombing target on Mersehead Sands
 
Southerness is a place made up of 2 huge tourist parks full mostly of static caravans. It was reminiscent of the East Coast of England. One of the parks accepted tents, albeit at an expensive rate. It’s not my favourite kind of place but it’s showing the Rugby World Cup opening England match so I’m not complaining.  

A memorial to the schooner Elbe that sank in 1867, what a great view

3 thoughts on “Day 166 Into The Solway Firth

  1. Val K September 20, 2015 / 8:49 am

    Once again stunning photos and wonders of wonders the sun is shinning you must be very happy.
    Val x

    Like

  2. chris frazer September 20, 2015 / 10:39 am

    A hearty breakfast prepared for you, stunning scenery and no rain…..a good day by all accounts.

    Like

  3. chris frazer September 20, 2015 / 10:39 am

    Oh and England won the opening match of RWC….a good day turned into a top day

    Like

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